“I was adopted as an infant through private adoption. My birth mother had my birth half-sister when she was 16, and had me when she was 18. She was young and not ready to be a parent. My adoptive parents were married and tried to conceive for over 8 years and it just wasn’t happening for them. My birth mother and my adoptive mother worked together for a short amount of time. My birth mother would have my adoptive mother babysit and watch my birth half-sister. She was testing the waters to see if she wanted to have my adoptive mom adopt my sister.
Then she got pregnant with me. She has told me before that as soon as she found out, she felt as though she was pregnant with me for my adoptive parents. She ended up not placing my birth half-sister with them, but just me.
I am so grateful she placed me with my family. My adoptive parents adopted 5 children and accidentally had two biological children. That’s how we know our family is truly meant to be.
Since I was a little girl I always wanted to adopt, it was the norm around our house since most of us were adopted. We all knew we were adopted ever since we can remember, and we’re always proud of our stories of how each of us came together. Flash forward 28 years later. I met my husband. I knew I wanted to marry him after a month together. We were engaged January 2018 and married July 22, 2018.
Once the wedding was over, we both were ready to take the next step. He always wanted to be a dad, and my biggest dream was to be a mom. We went out to dinner and I told him what had been weighing on my heart. ‘My biggest dream is to build a family through adoption, like how my family was built,’ I said. He didn’t even hesitate. ‘I want the same thing,’ he said.
We started researching which kind of adoption we wanted and asked friends and family for advice and prayer. We decided domestic infant adoption was what we felt called to. I loved that it was expecting mothers choosing to place their child with a family by their own will, and out of bravery and selflessness. We signed on with Christian Adoption Consultants and had a conversation with our consultant Gretchen. She was so knowledgeable and genuinely had a heart to bring families together. We completed our home study, and made a profile book to present to expecting mothers that told about us, our community, our home, hobbies, etc. It was nerve wrecking to think we were going to get chosen based off a book of pictures. But we knew the Lord had called us to this, and our child’s birth mother would choose us when it was meant to be. We became an active profile in September 2018.
We presented to 3 different expecting mothers. We would send in our book, write a letter, and just wait to see if we were chosen or not. I can remember each case very well, I prayed over the mother and child and still do to this day. My husband and I were open to any race, gender, health circumstances, drug exposures, etc. But I secretly really thought we were going to have a baby girl. I had names picked out and had bought a few baby girl things. In my family we have 6 girls and 1 boy, so I knew girls. I always figured I’d adopt a girl.
One day my husband and I were at a concert and a speaker came on who was named Banning. My husband and I looked at each other and said, ‘that’s our boy name if we have a boy.’ We both knew it at the same time. The next day, November 8th, 2018, we got a case about an expecting mother in Florida with a baby boy due December 20, 2018. We read over the case and prayed about it, and decided to present our profile to her. We had gotten our hopes up every time we presented, but we knew God would not let us miss out on the expecting mother and baby meant for us. On November 16th we presented to her, and were told we most likely wouldn’t hear back until after Thanksgiving. I had a missed call on my phone three days later from our consultant. ‘I have news. Please call me back,’ she said on the voicemail. My heart sank. I figured we hadn’t got picked, again. I called, she didn’t answer, I called again, and she picked up and said, ‘Congratulations, you have been chosen!’
November 19, 2018, the day my son’s birth mother chose us. I cried and was in complete shock. My coworkers congratulated me, hugged me and cried with me. They were supporting me every step of the way. I called my mom and she was crying and so excited. I wanted to surprise my husband. My mom got all my family together and we were going to meet at my sister’s and surprise my husband, just like I had always imagined telling him he’s going to be a daddy. Right when we were married, I bought a shirt that said ‘daddy’ on it for the day we would become parents. It sat in a box in our spare room for more than a year. He didn’t know what was in the box. Every once in a while he would ask about it, but then forget. HE FINALLY GOT TO OPEN THE BOX.
I had him open it in front of all our friends and family. I said, ‘You’re going to be a daddy!’ He was completely shocked and crying. we hugged and I told him we were matched with a baby boy in Florida!!!
We planned to meet mama A in person in Florida to make sure it was a match, that we both felt comfortable. We lIve in Washington and she lives in Florida. We bought tickets and an Airbnb and were flying out for a lunch date. We were so nervous – what if she changes her mind? What if she doesn’t like us in person? All these thoughts were running through our minds. But we knew her baby was her baby 100% until she relinquished her rights, and we were going to love and support her every way possible no matter what.
On December 2, 2018, an hour before our flight, I got a text from the agency. ‘WATER BROKE BRING CAR SEAT!!!!!’ We couldn’t believe it! We packed an extra suitcase and car seat and were off to meet our expecting mother and possible baby boy! The timing was just all God. She went into labor one hour before our flight, and he wasn’t due for 18 more days. On December 2, 2018, a baby boy, 7 lbs 8 ounces was born. We waited in our car in the parking lot the hospital until the social worker invited us in.
We met mama A, she was so calm. ‘I knew you were meant to be my baby’s parents,’ she told us right away. She took us unto the NICU where we got to see him the first time. He was hooked up to so many monitors and machines. He was so tiny and perfect.
We all held hands and I prayed over baby and his mama and the entire situation. That the Lord’s will would be done and there would be clarity and comfort and love all around. And that the main focus would be on this baby boy and his wellbeing. We then had to wait until either a certain amount of hours or until discharge for Mama A to sign. We waited in the parking lot, for hours. She ended up getting sick and had to stay in the hospital for 4 days. It was a very contagious infection that ended up spreading to the baby. We waited 4 days until she felt better and could relinquish her rights. She just kept telling us how she knew it was God, even down to the time she went into labor, every detail, every turn and curve led her to us.
On the fourth day she signed, we became parents to a baby boy named Banning Isaiah, who completely changed our lives in all the best ways.
He had to stay in the NICU for 11 days. He wasn’t eating, and was fighting the infection. There were no hotels near the hospital and we weren’t allowed to sleep there. I reached out on Instagram if anyone knew of any places to stay close by, and an amazing family going through their own adoption journey wrote back and opened their home to us! My husband cried. He couldn’t believe there were people so kind out there still. They became our forever friends and a part of our journey!
Once Banning was out of the NICU we got to take him to their house and wait for Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) to go through so we could fly back home for Christmas. It took three days, we decided to surprise our family. We flew from Florida to Washington on a straight flight, very nerve wrecking, but Banning did amazing. We made it home and drove to my family’s house and surprised everyone! My mom cried. Everyone was so shocked and full of love, and just couldn’t get enough of Banning. We got to share his first Christmas at home, with all our family, as our own family of three.
I wanted to become a mother through adoption for as long as I can remember. It was so important to me. Adoption is the only thing I know. It’s what built my family. It’s what comes natural to me. My mother didn’t birth me or breastfeed me, and the bond between us is strong. Adoption is the life I live and know. And now I get to share that bond and love with Banning and be his mama. I will never take the weight of his birth mother’s decision that day lightly or for granted. She will forever be a part of Banning and I will always love her. The Lord brought us all together for this child, and I’m humbled and honored I get to be his mother.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Lacey Giebel of Washington. You can follow her journey on Instagram. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.
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